Gum Disease can be called many things: gingivitis, periodontitis, and bone loss. Without attention can lead to tooth loss without ever having a cavity.
Gingivitis is simply something that can occur within 3 days of not flossing. When bacteria are not removed from between or under the collar of gum tissue that surrounds the neck of the tooth, they will cause ulcers. An ulcer is loss of surface tissue or of a lining. This lack of tissue will allow bleeding to occur and is why our gums bleed when we haven’t flossed for a while. Bleeding should be a way to remind us that we should floss more in order for healing to occur.
Early, Moderate and Severe Periodontitis (attachment loss) means you may have to see the hygienist more often in order to keep the condition from worsening. This is because your daily tools from your bathroom may not be sufficient to get the bacteria removed at the base of the defect.
If the bacteria sits there too long, the loss of the lining can go deeper into the bone that surrounds the teeth and now this is called Periodontitis. Once it has gone to this level, it is more difficult to treat and can be classified into different stages: early, moderate and severe attachment loss.
We can determine the best treatment and visit interval for you by doing an exam specifically designed to measure attachment loss.
Those more at risk include those with crowded teeth, smokers, pregnancy, clencher/grinders, age and systemic disease or vitamin deficiencies.